Business Owner David Feinberg Says He's Not Racist, Posts Apology In Window

CLIFTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A letter posted by a business owner in Clifton has sparked a lot of outrage with some calling the message racist.

David Feinberg’s livelihood has been sharpening knives at his business, Cutters Edge, in New Jersey for 25 years, but for many, a notice posted on his window cut deeper than his craft.

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The message reads, “Speak English or pay $10 extra.”

Feinberg told CBS2’s Cory James he put the sign up recently after a frustrating 10-minute encounter with a customer.

“I couldn’t understand a word he was speaking in Spanish … He made absolutely no attempt, none whatsoever, to speak to me in English. I figured $10 at 10 minutes was a fair number,” he said.

Diana Morell says she saw the flier on the window and it left her with one thought.

“Racist, what else?” Morell said.

“He says he’s not a racist,” James said.

“So what’s the sign for?” Morell said.

She’s not the only one with those feelings.

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Some expressed frustration from their cars during CBS2’s interview with Feinberg in front of his shop, with one person shouting, “Hey, you racist piece of dog [expletive].”

While there are many who are outraged, there are also others from around the world showing their support in voicemails.

“I’m calling from Greece, I’m with you all the way,” one message said.

“I’m in Houston, Texas, and you hang whatever sign you want to,” another said.

Michael Fazil lives across the street and does not condone the statement. He has, however, found the heart space to see past his neighbor’s fault.

David Feinberg posted an apology in the window of his Clifton, New Jersey, business after he posted a sign reading, “Speak English or pay $10 extra.” (Credit: CBS2)

“I’m Spanish … I think he made a simple human error. You should forgive other people,” Fazil said.

Feinberg now has a new sign posted, one that is an apology. It reads, “Sorry about the speak English sign. Please [accept] our [heart] felt sadness it may have caused.”

When it comes to accusations that he is racist, Feinberg says, “I’m not. Simple. I’m not.”

A conviction this 71-year-old understands others may never believe.

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